Carrie Underwood’s Chill-Inducing Voice on Full Display at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena

Carrie Underwood proved why she is one of music’s most unparalleled voices when her Denim & Rhinestones Tour made a stop at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday night (March 1). 

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Pink and champagne-colored streamers came shooting out from the rafters, signaling the start of a spectacular show. Underwood rose from underneath the stage singing one of her signature hits, “Good Girl,” kicking off the show that was high-energy from start to finish. It was a natural segue into a fiery performance of one of her other beloved hits, “Church Bells,” complete with graphics of a gothic cathedral and a virtual choir behind her. She ended the performance with a series of breathtaking notes that showed off her vocal prowess, the first of many chill-inducing moments of the night.

When she asked the Nashville crowd if they were going to help her “blow the roof off this place,” they responded with roaring applause. The sight of Jason Aldean later sent the crowd into a frenzy as the first surprise guest of the night to duet on their ACM Award-winning hit, “If I Didn’t Love You.” Throughout the nearly two-hour show, fans got to see many different sides of Underwood, who showed off the versatility in her artistry as much as her voice.

The storyteller in her came out when she rose to the stage with a glass of red wine in one hand and greeted everyone with an exuberant “howdy” and admitted that being in Nashville inspired her to “get a little extra country.” In a town known for its songwriting, Underwood entertained with the details behind “She Don’t Know,” revealing how she had “specific characters” in mind while writing the song with Hillary Lindsey and producer David Garcia. Inspired by Dolly Parton’s iconic “Jolene,” Underwood pondered how no one could steal a man from the “perfect queen Dolly,” leading to a fiddle-filled performance.

Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson/Courtesy of Full Coverage Communications

The physicality of the show was also something to admire. Underwood hopped on a trapeze ball with neon pink angel wings for “Crazy Angels,” wherein she struck a series of poses midair without missing a beat and soared across the arena in a lavish swing adorned with pink wildflowers while flawlessly singing “Ghost Story.” She flew across the room and landed on a smaller stage at the other end in an effort to connect with fans in the back.

“I put myself in harm’s way so I can see everybody,” she joked. Though she was in full rockstar mode through much of the show, Underwood also put her heart on full display. “This song will always be one of my favorites,” she professed when introducing “Wasted,” her voice sounding as pure as it did when she first released it in 2007, marking the first of many heartfelt performances of the night. She stayed in this vein with a reimagined version of “Blown Away” that started off acoustic, inviting the delicate tones of Underwood’s versatile voice to shine before she let her signature powerhouse voice take over for the remainder of the song that brought the crowd to its feet.

The emotive “Cry Pretty” was the kind of performance that leaves one in disbelief over the sheer power of her voice, such as when she held the earth-shattering note at the song’s end. The singer took a moment to soak in the outpouring of love from the crowd that she replied to with a small curtsy, creating a moment of tenderness in the midst of the large-scale spectacle.

Her heart continued to peak through while on the smaller stage, which allowed for a more intimate setting where she shared that she approached Denim & Rhinestones with the desire to simply have fun. But in the midst of that fun came a song that had “a whole lot of heart,”

“It is very important, especially in today’s world, to put positive things out into the world,” Underwood professed. She then softly sang the lyrics of “Garden”: if your words were seeds that were goin’ in the ground / And your love was rain farmers prayed about / If you reap what you sow / What kind of garden would you grow? and demonstrated that her voice shines as much on the quiet songs as it does on the powerful ones.  

She continued to prove this to be true as she encouraged the crowd to sing “with your whole heart” to “Jesus Take the Wheel,” which led to an equally stunning rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” Underwood hit a series of stunning notes at the end as if she was singing directly to a higher power.

Aldean wasn’t the only surprise Underwood had in store, as her former CMA Awards co-host, Brad Paisley, popped up from under the stage to thunderous applause. The two recreated their comedic chemistry with a new musical monologue, “I Know You’ve Missed Us,” with Paisley singing such lines as underneath this denim / I’m wearing rhinestone underoos.

“Isn’t she unbelievable?” he praised his longtime friend. They then launched into an acoustic rendition of their chart-topping duet, “Remind Me.”

Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson/Courtesy of Full Coverage Communications

In what she described as the “sassy part of the show,” Underwood tore up the arena with the raucous “Poor Everybody Else,” complete with a fierce drum solo by the singer. The moment was followed by the crowd-pleasing hit “Last Name” and an appearance by rhinestone-clad opening act Jimmie Allen on “Denim & Rhinestones.”

The hitmaker proved she can effortlessly transition from arena rockers to taking us to church, as she closed out the show with the sobering “Something in the Water.” But she wasn’t done yet. Underwood soon returned to the stage where she went into full rockstar mode for a feverish cover of Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle.”

No Underwood show would be complete without an arena-sized sing-a-long to her signature hit, “Before He Cheats,” holding those famous last words as fireworks flew all around her as she lowered under the stage in an awe-inspiring finale. 

Looking out into the multi-generational crowd, one fan held up a sign that read “My Idol Since…” serving as a reminder that Underwood has been headlining arenas since 2007, with the show demonstrating why. There’s a reason Underwood has drawn countless fans to country music and expanded the genre like the greats that came before her. Onstage is where you feel her heart the most–and it all started with her voice.

Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson/Courtesy of Full Coverage Communications 

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